Joseph Donohue: Jeff Sessions shoo-in for ‘Best Stonewaller’ award

Sunday, June 18, 2017
Sessions shoo-in for award as ‘Best Stonewaller’

I have followed the American and British theater for some 50 years, but Tuesday afternoon I discovered to my surprise that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is one of the most accomplished actors of his generation.

Before the most searching and insistent questions posed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, he remained poised, focused, completely in control, and single-mindedly determined not to break character. He did frankly admit that he had considerable trouble with a remarkably porous memory, but it was his character’s memory, not Jeff Sessions’ memory, that was always at issue. And it always came to his aid. This former senator and former colleague somehow “failed to remember,” and he could speak only “to the best of his memory.”

Meanwhile, confronted by a hostile but impotent posse of Democrats, his foremost task was to protect the possible use of the president’s executive powers, just in case the president might be pleased at some future point to assert them.

This stalwart maintenance of a character much maligned (he complained), but nonetheless resilient and unbowed, was nothing less than a tour de force. Especially admirable was his selfless plea for what always was good for the country.

Senators John McCain and Joe Manchin did perhaps get through his defenses, but only briefly and to no great effect. We learned nothing worth knowing, all afternoon.

There should be Tony Awards for congressional hearings. If there were, Jeff Sessions would be a shoo-in for “Best Stonewaller.”

Joseph Donohue

South Hadley